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bêche-de-mer

[besh-duh-mair, beysh-] /ˌbɛʃ dəˈmɛər, ˌbeɪʃ-/
noun, plural bêches-de-mer (especially collectively) bêche-de-mer for 1.
1.
a trepang.
2.
Often, Bêche-de-Mer. Neo-Melanesian.
Origin
1805-1815
1805-15; erroneously for French biche de mer < Portuguese bicho do mar literally, animal of the sea; cf. Beach-la-Mar
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for beche-de-mer

bêche-de-mer

/ˌbɛʃdəˈmɛə/
noun (pl) bêches-de-mer (ˌbɛʃdəˈmɛə), bêche-de-mer
1.
another name for trepang
2.
Word Origin
C19: quasi-French, from earlier English biche de mer, from Portuguese bicho do mar worm of the sea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for beche-de-mer

trepang

boiled, dried, and smoked flesh of sea cucumbers (phylum Echinodermata) used to make soups. Most beche-de-mer comes from the southwestern Pacific, where the animals (any of a dozen species of the genera Holothuria, Stichopus, and Thelonota) are obtained on coral reefs. Beche-de-mer is consumed chiefly in China.

Learn more about trepang with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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